Monday, 28 April 2014

Benefits of silk bedding and a good night's sleep

Here in my home county of Cheshire we have a huge silk connection in the east side of the area, in the town of Macclesfield. In the 19th Century the town was one of the world's biggest producers of finished silk goods and had 71 silk mills operating. Of course, the silk weaving is gone today but the town bears reference to its important past in many places. Referred to as 'Silk town', there is the Silk Road and the silk museum among others; a town proud of its silk producing heritage. No wonder really for silk is a beautiful natural fibre that has so many useful properties whilst also looking so luxurious. The benefits of silk are countless from health to beauty.
 photo silk-bedding-is-good-for-skin-and-hair

Silk is great for a good nights sleep

Gingerlily Luxury Bedding made from pure silk not only looks simply gorgeous in your bedroom but is beneficial for your health and sleep. So much lighter than cotton, the A grade mulberry silk used by Gingerlily is a natural breathable material helping your body temperature to regulate whilst you sleep. I often wake up feeling far too warm and a night of broken sleep sets me up for a day of feeling grumpy and lethargic. The wondrous properties of silk keep you cool in warm weather but warm on cooler nights unlike other duvets that cause overheating. A duvet filled with pure silk is perfect to help you get a comfortable night's sleep.  

Silk is great for beauty

My mother has always told me that a silk pillow helps keep away the wrinkles and she's right! Ever woken up with sleep creases on your face in the morning? I have and as you get older they seem to take longer to disappear. Some can even end up being permanent wrinkles! I always sleep on the same side so the left side of my face will always be under the mercy of those rough cotton pillowcases that also draw moisture from my skin. There is a saviour though in the form of a gorgeous silk pillow which being natural, actually contains a high percentage of a protein which can counteract our skin's ageing process and allows skin to retain moisture. In addition, the softness of silk will not drag and pull at our delicate facial skin as we toss and turn throughout the night. Our skin slides against the silk and we wake up beautifully crease free, a huge bonus I'd say.

Likewise for hair. As opposed to other materials which rub against hair and cause damage, silk is kind, allowing the hair to glide over its surface. For those of us that straighten hair, it can help hair stay perfectly straight for morning.
silk duvets from Gingerlily

Silks helps health conditions

Allergy sufferers can have a poor night's sleep with regular feather, down and synthetic duvets that harbour dust mites and moulds. Shudder at the thought of these lurking in your bedding triggering sneezing, runny noses, watery eyes and in worst cases asthma. Not pleasant at all. Fortunately there is a healthier option in having silk bed linen which is both naturally hypo-allergenic and resistant to dust mites, acting as a defence to these harmful allergens and helping allergy sufferers get a sneeze free sleep. 

Silk being so soft is perfect for those that suffer with eczema. It will not aggravate the skin and has been shown to help skin absorb moisture thus helping anyone with dry skin or eczema. 

Silk Luxury

Silk is an investment for your health and for that rejuvenated night's sleep that we all crave. Of course there is also nothing as sensuous as silk on your skin and as luxurious as that feeling to slip between silk bedsheets.  Gingerlily  are silk specialists with a range of beautiful products from duvets and bedspreads to cushions and pyjamas. Their silk is the finest quality mulberry silk and is available in many colours and patterns.

Disclosure: This was a featured post written for Gingerlily

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Zoo tails....

Another sunny zoo trip. We sure make the most of these annual passes. First a stop at our favourites, the beautiful giraffes. These are Rothschild giraffes, you can tell this as it looks like they are wearing white socks. The young giraffe calves you can see peeking between the legs are Kanzi and Millie.giraffe print baby giraffeThere are lots of these bug hotels around the zoo. They would be a great idea for the garden to make from pallets and filled with recycled materials such as bundles of sticks, straw, logs, bricks and dry leaves. Perfect hiding places for many a creature.
bug hotel
butterfly journeyChester Zoo
A popular stop for Little Bird is the butterfly house with its humid jungle atmosphere and cascading waterfalls. You can push your way past huge rubbery leaves and through vines, over a bridge to a world of tropical butterflies who spend their days gorging on the fruit buffet laid on for them.
tropical butterfly
greenhouse roof
tropical butterfly Chester Zoo
butterfly waterfall
bright butterfly
tropical orange butterflyThey are much easier to photograph that our British butterflies. Who needs to quickly flutter away when there's so much sugar on offer. There is a great behind the scenes view in here of what the Chester Zoo team do. A puparium shows the emerging butterflies (and moths) from their pupae phase. 
Chester Zoo butterfly house
butterfly eating fruit
checking the mirror in the butterfly house
Check for escaping butterflies before you leave!
save the jaguar poster
flamingo feathers
mangrove swamp zooThe mangrove where the pinkest flamingoes you will ever see, chatter and bicker with each other. Every time I see them I think of Alice playing croquet. 

pretty pink flamingoesFinally, a comical encounter in the penguin's enclosure that made us all laugh.
heron in the penguin enclosure

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My Great British Home

I'm mad about my home. I love making improvements to it and changing the look of rooms on a regular basis. Not massive projects as budget will not allow for that but small things like painting cupboards or sprucing up a room with new cushions and candles. Much of my furniture is from junk shops and I've painted it to make it my own. I've found items for free on the roadside and items on my travels at charity shops, car boot sales and street markets such as the one we found in Bridport on our holidays.

My home is a collection of happy memories, bright cushions, home-made pieces and up-cycled furniture. It has created an eclectic home and at home that tells a story. When I took the Great British Home Quiz I was rather pleased with the result.
GreatSo I might not want to live in a warehouse apartment but I certainly like the look and I might secretly want to be Jess (Zooey Deschanel). Big New Girl fan! 

Most of all I love my home to be comfortable and cheerful. My favourite item is my old sofa covered in a knitted throw that my mum and nana made square by square before sewing it all together. 
I love Little Bird's bedroom too. He has a lot of charity shop items to decorate and adorn shelves. It is such a happy room for him. I think anything goes in our home, as long as it isn't beige!

This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

My Rug Store review

My Rug Store sell all types of lovely rugs from the traditional Persian and Oriental look to modern rugs in bright, bold colours, geometric, floral styles and a huge range of trends. The rugs are available in different sizes and you will certainly find one to suit your home's style and space. My Rug Store directly import from the manufacturer so these cost savings are passed onto you and you will easily find a rug within your budget. They have a fantastic selection on their easy to navigate website and most of the designs you will see are unique to them.

My Rug Store Kids Range

I chose a rug for Little Bird's room from their fun and colourful kids selection. As LB likes sea creatures, I chose the fabulous Kids Sea Adventure rug. The design is a striking navy and pale blue with a shark, an anchor and jaunty rainbow boat. 
My Rug StoreThe rug was delivered super quick with fantastic customer service letting us know it was on its way. When we unwrapped the rug, you could tell instantly what great quality it was. The rug felt thick and sturdy yet with soft pile for little toes. Sea Adventure Rug Mt Rug Store Kids Range LB was delighted and started to tell me what was on his new rug. Shark! Boat!
After dancing up and down it for a while he grabbed his puzzle box and sat down on the rug. Big seal of approval.
bright kids rug for bedroom The rug is a great size and perfect for a bedroom. The range of colours in the rug mean it fits very well into our room scheme. I really love the colourful boat, so cheerful and my son liked it straight away. It is soft for him to sit on and play and even prompted him to get his box of sea creatures out to play. A rug is such a great way to update a room. The carpet in my son's room has become quite flattened over the past few years so the rug is perfect to cover that area and tidy the room up.
kids bedroom rug sea adventure styleMy Rug Store offer free delivery to mainland UK and currently have a sale on. There is a great choice for kids from butterflies and pirates to jungle animals.

Disclosure: I received a rug for the purpose of the review. All words are my own honest opinions.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

St George's Day

 St George's Day banner
Happy Saint George's Day. That forgotten English day. So I thought I'd put together a treasury with a hint of George and the Dragon about it. But firstly did you know that St George was actually born in Turkey in the 3rd Century. A devout Christian who became a Roman soldier. He was made the patron saint of England around 1415. Of course the famous legend of him slaying the dragon is mere fairytale but it is all an important part of our culture and I always like to see it being celebrated. 
Buy George and the dragon goodies/></a>
<a href=Ere-Be-Dragons Wallpaper £60// Colour in tote bag £9.75 // Dinosaur who wants to be a dragon print £25 // Castle cushion £15.50dragon things to buy
Dragon cape £32 // Knight's Castle print £22 // England cushion £115 // Dragon toy £22
buy knights and dragon wares Dragon moneybox £22 // Little Knight bunting £20 // Knight rattle £14 // Made in England mug £13buy dragon tea towel
Knights and Dragons wooden letters £1.20 each //  I'd rather be slaying dragons tea towel £9.50 

In the north we are really going for it in lovely Lytham with their annual event and a St George's Day parade. My Uncle lives here so I hope he sees it. 

In Yorkshire there is Dragon Fighting at Bolsover Castle this weekend. 

In the south this weekend you could go to the wonderful St George celebrations at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire - jousting, falconry and a dragon battle. 

Dover Castle also has an event, all sort of Medieval fun and dragon slaying. 

Ironbridge in Shropshire has a St Georges Day event happening today! 

So we do celebrate it after all. If you would like some other lovely ways to celebrate from Mummers Plays, Morris Dancing and dragon hunting have a look here for some ideas.

Listen out for any local church bells ringing tonight for our Saint George. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Imaginative play in the garden

With the sun shining at the moment and myself and Little Bird venturing out into the garden most days, I start to think about play items for outside to help LB with his play skills. One of the areas I am keen to help him develop is imaginative play as this helps him to learn about the world around him. A wooden playhouse would be perfect to work on this key developmental skill and would be great fun but also look gorgeous in the garden painted up in pretty colours.

We could personalise the playhouse to Little Bird's interests which is mostly anything to do with farms. I think this lovely Honeypot Dutch Barn style playhouse would be perfect and would certainly look very smart in the garden. LB could pretend he was the farmer, finding all the animals in Old Macdonald (a song that is sang many, many times a day!) Pretending to be different characters helps with social development, a skill that is so hard for LB as he has autism. Working on pretend play can also encourage and build confidence and help with problem solving skills. 
6 x 6 Waltons Honeypot Dutch Barn Wooden Playhouse
A few props with the playhouse would work well, perhaps some mini gardening tools, play animals and furniture. We could pretend we were collecting chicken eggs or chasing after the naughty goat. Great opportunities for practicing vocabulary and at the current moment, leaning action verbs to increase LB's language skills. Playhouses provide an exciting and safe environment in your garden for children to play and have hours of fun.
Adorable farm playhouse
Source: Pinterest

A playhouse could also incorporate play equipment such as slides and sandpits for plenty of make believe opportunities and a good space saver for a smaller garden. Extra fun to climb and slide and what an amazing clubhouse for your kids to have friends over to play in. 

Another addition to a playhouse would be to have a play kitchen whether it is one made from old furniture with a bit of DIY or one already made. With sweet little cupboards, pans and play food, I'm not sure who would like this more, me or my son :)

Source: Pinterest

As I'm home educating LB, I am so keen to ensure that I provide him with the best opportunities and a playhouse would give us another location to play and learn in. Seeing for myself that imaginative play can be hard for a child with autism, I want to nurture and develop those skills very closely for they are key to encourage life skills.  

Do you have a playhouse or what sort of style playhouse would you have?

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Picking daisies at Brereton Heath

bird hide Brereton Heath A sunny day prompted a home ed meet up with friends. Brereton Heath Nature Reserve near Congleton, a lake surrounded by woodland and fields. Once upon a time a large estate planted with Scots pine trees but then becoming a source of silica sand before eventually the reserve it is today. The lake is actually the old sand quarry. There is also lowland heath here, comprising of heathers, ferns and mosses which is quite rare so this area has conservation work to maintain this important ecosystem. Brereton Heath bird life The park is now a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and dog walkers, sometimes canoeists use the lake too. Little Bird loved looking for ducks and other birds and our home education friend was busy snapping away on his camera, trying to catch the perfect shot of a robin. Sadly the robin kept flying away, such is the luck of the promising wildlife photographer. little bird watcher We did spy a bee warming itself on a sign which posed patiently for a few photographs.bee daisy Flowers of course are ideal to capture except LB wanted to pick them all today and walk around with them. It was nearly the end of the world when one was lost but a quick replacement was found. He really loves nature and the little daisy was a source of such interest. The fine detail of life fascinates LB.daisyLike perfect little feathers, so delicate and so collectible for my budding naturalist. We now have a nature table at home where pine cones, pretty pebbles and leaves are displayed. LB learns the names of his natural treasures and it helps encourage his vocabulary which is increasing all the time. The home education route is working so well for him. No stress and at his own pace, learning about the things that interest him.small white featherWe met many dogs around the lake and LB shows no fear at all. At one point there must have been seven dogs around us, playing, running into the water collecting balls and he just happily looks on, smiling to himself. We have two dogs at home of course, so he has grown up with dogs being part of his life. He gravitates towards toy dogs in his play so I think we will build upon this and use this interest to help him learn new skills. dog playing pick up poo Sadly not everybody remembers the above which is very annoying! willow tunnelLittle Bird has started to venture into more imaginative play recently, well of a sort but it is super progress. This willow tunnel became a house which was amazing to hear him say. He's really starting to come more out of his shell and catch up on some areas of development. Also, when it was time to move on, he managed with no fuss at all and this has made such a difference to both of our anxiety levels. Together on the home education journey we are finding our way and it is exciting to see how when he is in the right environment he will make great steps forward.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Ethans Escapades